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Your Weekly Hoodoo Thread

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Hoodoo like it means somethin' to ya, folks, like you can't stand still...

Well, folks, here we have it... We stand at the precipice (that's another word for edge, y'all)...we stand at the precipice of the most heated rivalry in all of college football. To hell with Michigan-Ohio State, forget about the Longhorns and Sooners. No, when measuring the level of pure hate and vitriol that flows between two football programs 365 days a year, there simply isn't another rivalry that can muster the kind of venom that is shared by Alabama and Tennessee.

Poets have opined on it (ala "they lowdown, they dirty, they some snitches..."), bards have written songs about it (I can't help but feel that Rammer Jammer was originally penned as a slight to our toothless neighbors from more northerly latitudes.) Ask a former Tide player, from any era mind you, which team is Alabama's greatest rival and he'll tell you: it's not: Lee County Polytechnic, it's not the state university of Louisiana, it's not the Meessipians from hither or yon, but rather those god-awful, puke-orange, meth-addled heathens of the Appalachian foothills. (To reference a movie title, the hills do have eyes, but apparently they don't have a full set of teeth amongst the lot of ‘em.)

Quite honestly, a deep-seated, burning hatred of the Volunteer seers within me, a coal blown to full flame in the days of my come-uppance. I don‘t know exactly when it happened, but ever since I can remember being privy to Southeastern College football, I can remember my mother saying nothing even remotely kind about two teams: the Notre Dame Fightin' Irish for their myriad indiscretions against the Tide in the 1960s and 70s, and the inbred, anti-dentite pumpkinesque horde from the state above us.

Many of my most fond football memories (and some of the most wretched) involve those UT assholes. I remember the exhilaration of watching legendary Vol-killer Philip Doyle splittin' the uprights in 1990 with a minute left to seal the deal in a 9-6 win over the hound-dog husbanders. I recall in vivid detail the sheer joy of watching Roman Harper slay Corey Anderson in '05, forcing a fumble that set up the winning field goal in an old school 6-3 slugfest. I remember seething with hatred as I watched the Human Billboard (not just because of the prolific volume of advertising campaigns featuring his image, but his prodigious forehead...nay, fivehead) Peyton Manning direct the Pride of Methland in that horrid, ridiculous tribute to hillbillydom that those people call a fight song.

And, of course, I remember the sense of fear and loathing I felt in 2008, the resignation I felt as I watched those Creamsicle-lookin'-mofos drive within field goal range as the seconds waned, placing the dagger to Bama's throat. Then came Mount Cody in all of his glorious girth...and the people said "Amen." I injured my knee leaping after "The Block" (it ain't been quite right ever since) and to the joy of my friends, family and coworkers, I was unable to speak properly for a full five days following that blessed event.

No, there is no other team in all the land that I hate with as much passion as those sons'a-bitches from across the mighty river. I still have a running promise, made more than a decade ago, that if I ever come in contact with that bastard Phil "The Great Pumpkin" Fulmer, I will waylay his fat ass. Jail be damned, I'd be a hero, hoosegow not withstanding. I've always fantasized it'd go a little something like this...picture, if you will, the dull gray walls of Holman's cafeteria, ‘round about chow time for the inmates...

"So what'arya in for, bub?"

"Oh, I came up on Phil Fulmer and knocked his ass out. He was doing his patented Hoover impression in the kitchen of the local Krispy Kreme, just sidled his open Jabba-jowls right up to the end of the conveyor belt, ol' boy musta had a dozen of those lil' glazed jokers wedged right in his ole gullet-hole. Annnnd, I knocked him cold-out with a right cross, half-chewed donuts and jagged teeth ‘sploded everywhere."

"Somebody get this man an extra fruit cup, Roll Tide."

My imagination not withstanding, I hold true to my long-sworn promise. I almost caught up to him one time too, as he was visiting a kicker at the high school in the town where I worked at the local newspaper. Believe it or not, that fat f&$%er is slippery (probably on account of the fact that he sweats Krystal grease and donut glaze)...got in and out of the little burg before I was any the wiser. But fear not, faithful readers, when OWB makes a promise, he keeps it regardless of the passing of time. In fact, I challenge His Crisco-scented Rotund Girthness to a cage match at a time and place of his choosing. Hell, I'll even cross the state line and meet him on his home turf. Two men enter, one non-Great Pumpkin sumbitch walks out. Mark it down, the gauntlet has been tossed.

But I digress. For if there was ever a time to offer Hoodoo at the foot of ole Football Loki's throne, I'd say it'd be now, fair followers. Not only is this game critical for the wages of hate, but it seems the Crimson Tide has re-inserted itself back into title talk thanks to a lashing of the Collie Worshippers in College Station. Combined with yet another Ole Miss loss (which your narrator believes will be one of several more to come), Alabama will likely do battle with LSU to determine which team advances to the SEC title game once again.

So this week, I offer a little ditty of Halloweenish theme, a story from my early years, a tale not of my beloved Southland, not a narrative originating in your Hoodoo guide's home of the Great State, but of the Great Beyond (no, not that Great Beyond they talk about in spiritual circles...how morbid of you to go there.) By "Great Beyond," I mean the Frozen Tundra, the White Frontier, the home of Molson and overly polite folks who say "eh" as often as we say "y'all." (For the culturally challenged amongst you, I'm speaking of Canada, the ones with the maple leaves on their flag.)

For you see, I must admit something that, while honestly critical to this here tale I'm unspooling for you folks, pains me somewhat to admit among you ‘Murcan pure-bloods. Though not the entirety of my Hoodoo, it is something that in these times of nationalist zeal, I'm afraid could land your good friend and story-teller in some internment camp or another at some point. But alas, my Hoodoo record must be laid bare, splayed out before you people in all its glory, so here goes...I am second generation American (at least partially).

There, I said it. Keelhaul me old ass up next to the ole red, white and blue if ye must, but tis a truth, my grandfather on my mother's side was not a naturalized American. No, friends, he was from that icy land to the north, the home of eskimos and polar bears and other such frigid foolishness. He was, alas, a Canadian.

Now bear in mind, the rest of my family is as ‘Murca as apple pie, hot dogs and baseball. There is that French immigrant component I told you people about once before, but by the time I was born, that branch of the family tree was well-established as gun-totin' flag-wavin' war fightin' ‘Murcan. But my maternal grandfather, he was a merchant cargo captain from the Maritime province of Nova Scotia. The story of his wedding to my grandmother (the six-time Heisman winner who runs the 4-flat 40) is the stuff of 1940s classic film. My Grandma-ma, she was born in the wilds of the Alabama frontier in a little town called Vance, just down Hwy. 11 a few clicks from our beloved Tuscaloosa (just past Coaling but before one gets to Woodstock). Deciding that she was fit for bigger things than little ole Vance had to offer, she struck out for Alabama's most exotic locale: none other the Port City, Mobile, a multi-cultural bastion of Catholicism and liberal thought (at least by Alabama standards).

After a run to his Pacific route, my grandfather made a stop in the port of call known as Mobile, AL. His first mate went ashore to see the sights, and he stumbled upon a sight indeed in my grandma-ma's best friend Blair, who worked with her at a jewelry store in downtown Mobile, a few blocks from the Bay. Well, long story short, this first mate with the thick "foreign" accent made nice with Grandma-ma's pal, arranging for a double-date while the ship was in port. He was to bring along his dashing, dark-haired captain, while Blair was charged with luring Grandma-ma into the aforementioned fray.

Grandma-ma agreed after much arm-twisting, and the rest is history. Blair and the mate didn't hit it off, but my eventual grandfather and Grandma-ma hit it off famously. They continued to date each time he came to call in Mobile, and they married.

So that's how I came to be of Canadian stock. This little foray down the genealogical path of my ancestry is of importance to this tale for one reason: it explains how I found myself in the frozen wilds of Nova Scotia as a mere boy.

When your humble narrator was a young'un, bout knee-high to a grasshopper, back in the Reagan-esque year of 1984, my grandfather's Canadian family mustered a family reunion for the ages. I tell you what, I thought we Southerners knew how to throw a get-down, but those Maritime Canucks knew how to do it up in righteous fashion. My grandfather came not from a wealthy family per se, as they were all, the whole lot of them, commercial fishermen. When I say they were commercial fishermen, I mean at the age of eight, the boys were on the boat, tending long spools of line in pursuit of the cod, haddock and halibut that appeared on the tables of families across the Eastern seaboard of North America.

These people were a rough set of customers, and I found their culture fascinating. It was much like the maritime culture of my more southerly home here in Mobile, but with admittedly more pleasant temperatures (at least in the summer) and less bayou flair. Whereas Southern seafood cooking was all about spice and sizzle, these folks favored hearty cream-based sauces and bouillabaisse. We had gumbo, they had chowder. We ate crawfish, they ate periwinkles (which for the uninitiated, is a little tiny snail that lives in a shell). Where we kept our col'beer in the refrigerator or in an ice chest, they traditionally kept theirs sitting right on the front porch.

When the reunion shofar was sounded, the Southern branch of my family posse'd up and headed north for the soiree, to be held on the family island near French Point on Nova Scotia's Musquodoboit Harbor. Of course, getting there was an adventure in and of itself. We drove to Atlanta, flew to Boston, then van'd our way through New England before getting on a ferry known as the Bluenose, which took us to Nova Scotia. After arriving at our island, I was shocked at what I found. The relatives were legion: there were pop-ups, tents, RVs...and people. Tons of people. I guess in retrospect, it stood to reason there'd be a ton of folks there. After all, my grandfather had a passel of brothers and sisters, and each one of them had a passel of their own. We were surrounded by "cousins" who spoke with the aforementioned thick "Yankee" influenced accent, which fell upon our genteel southern ears like so many rusty forks scraped on chalkboards.

The most distinguishing feature of the island (which, in truth, looked more like a peninsula if my geography book-learnin' was to be trusted) was an old rustic lighthouse that was perched on the rocky shore of the point. Shorter and less grandiose than the Peggy's Cove light we had seen on our trip up the Nova Scotian coast, it was a white clap-board building of about three stories in height with a broad base that tapered thinner towards the light at the top. It was one of the coolest things I had seen up close and personal at the time, and I couldn't wait for the guided tour that would take us throughout its innards. It was determined the old light was too dangerous for us to roam at will, though we were allowed to go into the bottom floor, where there was a small museum of sort set up. It was super-cool, to say the least.

As one would expect, being a friendly Southern bunch, we soon made friends with a pack of cousins whose ages were similar to our own. By "our," I mean me, my brother B-Rad, my cousin Mar-cuss, his brother Dare and our cousin B-ri. We matched up well with a group of Canadians who lived not far away in Halifax. The primary difference was that the leader of their pack, the one who was my age, was a girl named Kimee. Whereas we Southerners were an all-male affair, these Canadians were mostly girls, with the exception of one, Fill, who was the same age as B-Rad and Dare.

Being that most of the kids my age were womenfolk, I felt a right-strong need to demonstrate the superiority of the Southern man for all of these poor Yankee-like young ladies. A cultural ambassador, if you will. I immediately started asking Fill questions, you know, to get a lay of the land.

"Hey boy, y'all play any football up here in these parts?"

"No, we play a little hockey, do a little ice skating."

"Ice skatin'? What kinda nancified sport is ice skatin'? I see those fellers on Wide World of Sports ice skatin' in those frilly, sparkly outfits...they look just plain sissified if you ask me. And hockey is just ice skatin' with sticks and helmets, ain't it?"

"Well no, it's pretty physical and..."

"Tell me this, do you tackle in hockey? Cuz if not, it ain't a man's sport." There, that'd shut him up and assert Southern manhood. The South-1, the Great White North-0 (that's for those of you keepin' score at home).

Knowing that we residents of the Gulf Coast enjoyed our beaches, a group of Canadians put together a swimmin' party to go out and take a "dip," as they called it, in the Atlantic Ocean. They piled us into a pick-up truck bed (which was, in fact, a familiar reminder of home) to head out to one of the pebble-strewn seaside plots those people refer to as a "beach" in those parts. Looked like a parking lot next to a fishin' hole to me, but they called it a beach, so we just went with the flow.

"This, boys, is the Atlantic Ocean!" proclaimed one second cousin who was old enough to be an uncle. "This is as good as swimmin' gets...have at it!"

We bounded from the truck, over the boulders (yes boulders...what kinda beach has boulders?) and down to the water, stripping out of everything but our skivvies. Now, keep in mind, this was in August mind you, but August in Nova Scotia is a wee bit cooler than Mobile in the same season. Whereas Mobile represents the Sixth Level of the Underworld Hot ‘round about the Dog Days, Nova Scotia was as pleasant as could be.

Now, being sons of the South, we didn't for once consider that because the air temperature was cooler than in our homeland, that the water temperature would likewise be cold. We leapt into the rolling waves of the Atlantic...and immediately froze up. I don't mean froze up, as in encountered temporary paralysis...no, I mean froze in the traditional sense. It was colder than a dang ole witch's teat. Every scar turned a vivid purple, skin and lips turned blue within seconds, teeth were chattering. My whole contingent jumped out of that chilled affair they called an ocean as quickly as we had jumped in.

The Canadians had been awaiting that response, set us up they did, and as they splashed in the waves like polar bears, they laughed and chortled. "Ah, too cold for ya, eh?" and "You Southern boys don't like to swim, eh?"

"Guffawguffawguffaw, laugh it up you Canucks," I thought. I couldn't imagine how one could be so cold with his blood boiling, as we had been made the butt of their little climatological joke. We had been bested, if only for the moment...but I remained undaunted in my Southern male pride.

Touche, Canadians...touche. The South-1, Canadians-1.

I was not pleased, but being on vacation in a foreign land, I decided to let my anger go. Not that I didn't complain and promise to bear a grudge, but I decided it was a little minor fun had at our expense and moved on.

Despite my orneriness, ole Fill was immediately taken by the thought of finally having some fellow boy-children with which to play, as he had been raised in the most estrogen-laden of environments, surrounded by sisters and a doting mama. He took to us like a rabbit to tall grass, and before long, he was filling our heads full of secrets.

"Eh, you boys like ghost stories?" he asked as we were muddling periwinkles out of tidal pools on the rocky point beneath the lighthouse.

"Oh yeah sure, we ain't ‘fraid of no ghosts," B-Rad retorted. I don't know if he intended to speak for the whole group or not, as I did not recall his being appointed as spokesperson of the Southern delegation. I, for one, had just finished reading 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, and had only then been able to regain my preferred sleeping schedule as result. I felt it only polite to divert the conversation immediately to other less spooky topic-alia.

"Well, we don't talk about silly things like ghosts and such...no, we focus on more manly things, like fishin' and football and war."

"Oh, okay. Well, this story is kinda about war." Fill didn't take the hint, and despite my attempt at subtle diplomacy, he blundered on with his telling of the tale at hand. "See, Papa told us that the way our family came into this land was through the war. One of our ancestors served aboard a ship captained by Lord Admiral Nelson, he was a famous British captain s'what Papa said...any of you heard of him?"

My delegation shook their heads, though I had heard Nelson's name before. I was a bookish lil' kid who liked to read history and such, which served me well as I got older. My compadres, not so much.

"Well, Admiral Nelson was a great war hero, and when he died at the Battle of Trafalgar and his crew was disbanded, our great-great-great-something-or-other was bequeathed this chunk of land here in the New World that came to be known as Nova Scotia. It was a reward for faithful service or something."

"Neat, great story." I said, hoping to bring to a conclusion the tale before it wandered into more supernatural territory.


"No, that's not all. You see, this place is haunted, s'wat Papa told us. Said there was a battle out there on French Point, that when he and his brothers were younger they found old cannonballs out there from the French and Indian War, down in the mud banks off the coast that come up when the tide goes out. Lotsa men died here on this land, lotsa blood spilled. Some say their spirits are what haunts this piece of land."

Well, I'd heard about enough of this little ditty.

"Well, that's a real nice story you got there Fill, thanks for sharing. Say, Mar-cuss, how many them peri-hoodats you got in the bucket, 25? 30?"

"Naw, let him finish, I want to hear what's next." Mar-cuss declared.

"Well, I better let my sister tell the rest of it, as I always mess it up. Let's go find her."

We followed Fill back up the hill to a pop-up camper, where his eldest sister and a few other girls were standing around shooting the breeze.

"Kimee, tell ‘em about the ghost in the lighthouse, eh?"

"Oh yeah, eh? They wanna hear about ole Nelson's ghost, eh? Why you betcha!"

She proceeded to cover some of the details already related by Fill in his prelude. But then came the juicy part.

"So now, on dark nights when the moon is full, you can still hear Nelson's boot heels on the steps of the lighthouse as he climbs up and down. If you're lucky, eh, you may even see his figure, a willowing shadow in a top-coat, still missing his hand, stalking about the edges of the light. Sometimes, from a distance, you can look up and see his shadow silhouetted behind the light. Spooky stuff, eh?"

Feeling the need to demonstrate that we Southerners "weren't skeert ‘a nuthin'", I spoke up for my contingent.

"Aw, that ain't no kinda scary, take more than that to scare us Southern boys. You Yankee folks sure do spook easily." I elbowed my kinfolk, grinnin' like a "chezzie-cat."

"Oh, is that so, eh? Well, why dontcha just go up in there tonight and see for yourselves? I'm sure ole Nelson would be happy to greet ya!"

"Maybe we will, we ain't skeerd, are we fellas?" I said, puffing out my chest. I did my best to beat back my fear of spooks, but in all honestly, the prospect of going in that lighthouse at night with a haint of any origin was something I didn't relish. But these Canucks had evened the score, made us look like fools with that swimming stunt, and I felt that the only way to rectify said slight was by making a demonstration of our collective he-man cock-dieselness.

"Meet us here then, we'll walk up there with you to make sure you go through with it," Kimmee said.

No way out now, I figured we had to follow through or look like cowards. The dread continued to grow as the sun dipped low on the horizon and the darkness of the remote Canadian night drew over the island like a veil. While we waited, we enjoyed a healthy dose of haddock chowder cooked in a big ole gumbo pot, sat on picnic tables right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the water. I would have been pretty cool, if not for the creeping fear that was crawling up my spine.

"Hey OWB, are we really gonna do that, go up to the lighthouse I mean?" asked B-ri. "It's kinda freakin' me out."

"Yeah well, it's kinda freakin' me out too...but we gotta do it. We can't let ‘em think we're chicken. I don't want to any more than you do, but we gotta go as a group, see? We can do it!"

I wished I had the confidence that I portrayed for my younger cousin. I had visions of being thrown down the stairs by a one-handed period-costume clad English dandy, or being shredded from stem to stern by some hook-handed mariner spook. Neither of those prospects were appealing, truth be told, but I really didn't see any way around it.

We met Kimee and her crew at the appointed spot, and my knees were a'knockin' already. We began the walk up the winding path to the lighthouse, Kimee's papa Big Fill guiding the way as the designated adult.

"So..." asked Big Fill. "Did they tell you boys about Lord Nelson's ghost?"

"Yassir, they did. We ain't skeerd though," I answered as spokesperson for the Southern branch of the family.

He laughed a deep deckhand's laugh. "Oh, you will be...you will be."

Not really the kind of positive reinforcement we were lookin' for there, Big Fill. Something to downplay the legend would have been nice, but alas...

Just as we reached the lighthouse, I heard something behind us. Obviously, given the circumstance, my first thought was "AHHH GHOST!" But I quickly turned to see B-ri hoofin' it on the double-quick back up the trail, abandoning the rest of our courageous contingent in the moment of truth.

"Dammit, B-ri," I thought, "that right there just ain't befittin' a man of Southern birth...no siree." Reckon the spook-pressure just got to the boy.

We entered the unlit ground floor of the light, the way illuminated by a taper wrapped in tinfoil held in Big Fill's hand.

"You've seen this part, eh? Let's go upstairs...that's where the magic happens." And then he laughed like a madman yet again. We climbed the rickety-lookin' wooden stairs. None of this felt altogether safe, all spooks and haints aside. After all, my greatest phobia has always been heights, and though only about 40 feet off the ground, the fact that I could see through the rat-trapish stairs was disconcerting. I mean, I try to trust engineering and such, but this lighthouse was built by a bunch of cabin-fever maddened drunken Canucks, genetic association not withstanding. Needless to say, I was shakin' like a "Silver Bullet" with brand-new fresh batteries (the womenfolk here know what I mean.)

We followed the winding staircase to the top, the plank floor of the landing creaking beneath our collective weight. The huge light and reflector in the top of the tower was rotating in rhythm with the crashing of the waves, or so it seemed. Each time it passed, it cast the most ghastly shadows on the wall, and as it rotated, it made them appear to be running alongside us. Just eerie, y'all. However, I began to rationalize.

"I bet that's what people see when they think they see a human figure," I convinced myself. "It's just the light, just an illusion...yeah yeah, just an illusion." I began to feel a little better having debunked, in my mind, this part of the haunting.

The view was incredible, despite the ever-present glare and heat beaming off of the great light. Still, one could see across the sound to the other side, or one could look back and see the whole of the rolling green island in one eye-full. It was pretty cool, ghosts'd up or not.

I was feeling pretty damn brave, having conquered my fear of heights and haints, and that feeling permeated my little crew. That is, until we started down the stairs. The top of the light represented pretty close quarters, and there was no room to turn around. Since Big Fill had led the way going up, going down was in reverse. Being at the back of the line going up, I was to lead everyone down the stairs, and the candle had been passed down to me. We began our descent, when suddenly, I noticed something moving in the shadows below, accompanied by what appeared to be the shuffling of boots. I froze in place.

"Who's down there?" I hollered. No answer. "Anybody down there?" As I spoke, I saw the shadow dart out of sight. Before the shadow melted into the darkness at the bottom of the stairs, I was able to make out the shape of one of those old nautical hats, you know the kind, the ridiculous lookin' angular ones. And it looked for all the world like the sumbitch was missin' a hand, but I couldn't tell for sure. Let's just put it this way: I didn't not see a hand, but I didn't for sure see a hand, either. I froze up, not wanting to go any further. My cousin Dare, behind me, started yammerin'.

"THAT'S THE GHOST...THAT'S NELSON!"

I didn't want to believe it, but it was kinda hard to argue with that logic. I mean, I saw something. But what were we to do? I mean, we were trapped on a staircase in a lighthouse with a spook between us and the exit? Big Fill thundered from behind us.

"LORD NELSON, BE GONE!" Just like that, the shadow was no longer visible. "She's all clear, boys, let's head on down the staircase, eh?"

I had to conjure up all my courage to move, and even then, my feet felt like they were laden with cement. I was about as skeer'd as I've ever been. After a bump from behind from Dare, I started down the stairs again, every creak, every wisp of wind, causing me to stop and evaluate.

Finally, after what seemed like an hour, I stepped onto solid ground again. My cousins quickly followed suit, and we gathered with Big Fill at the bottom of the light.

"Pretty scary, eh fellas?" he said with a laugh. "But you ain't seen nothin' yet!"

At that moment, out of the shadow beneath the stair well, a spindly-framed spook wearing the aforementioned nautical headgear burst towards us with an "ARRRGG!" No one had to tell this white boy to run twice, and my lily-livered cousin-folk weren't far behind. We bolted out of that lighthouse like a passel of greyhounds lit on fire with kerosene, jostlin' past one another to lead the pack, all the while screamin' like Death himself was upon us with his damn ole scythe.

I must have run a quarter-mile, because by the time I came to a stop, I could barely hear Big Fill, Kimee and the others cackling, the whole group gathered beneath the lighthouse. Not just Big Fill and his young'uns either, but about three-quarters of the reunion crowd was there laughin' at our expense. Come to find out, the whole lot of them had perpetrated what the scientists call a ho-ax on the group of us. There weren't no ghost, you see, it was all a story they had kindled up just to get at us poor Southern boys.

What made it worse was the creeping wetness I felt around my groinal region. Just as I was conjuring up an explanation for the growing wet spot on my anterior crotch area (something to do with relative humidity and my lack of familiarity with that latitude...that sounds scientific, don't it?), B-rad noticed my predicament...and proceeded to make sure everyone else was aware of it.

"D'you pee you pants, OWB?" he yelled. The boy just never knew how to speak in hushed tones (would have never made it as a double-naught spy, no siree.) No, he plain ole shouted it out with that damn bullhorn of a cake-eater of his, for all to hear, which drew yet another cackle from the chorus of cacklers who were, by that time, heading our way.

They had all conspired against us in perpetration of this ho-ax, the grown folks pitching in as well. Big Fill had known about it, seemed his brother had been tapped to play the role of the hatted spook at the bottom of the staircase. What a horrible joke to play on guests...why that simply wasn't Southern manners at'all! No, it was a cruel joke, shameless behavior to say the least. These Yankified pranksters bring up even now when they come down South for a visit, I have never been able to live it down.

No matter how cruel and ill-intended the joke, I must say...Hell, it worked. I didn't go back in that damned lighthouse, ho-ax or not, for the rest of the time we were on that island. Fool this ole boy once, shame on you...fool me twice...well y'all know the rest.

There you go, Football Loki. Multi-leveled Hoodoo fare, layers of shame unraveled like the petals of a half-budded camellia. Not only did I admit my partial Canadianess, not only did I fail Southern manhood, not only did I reveal my terror of both heights and nautical spooks, but I pissed myself. If that ain't the Hoodoo trifecta...or, err, quadrifecta as it were... then I may as well give up my Hoodoo operator's license once and for all. I hope you all are happy...

Let our beloved Crimson Tide soundly defeat those garbage-truck-worker-orange heathens from the meth-addled Smoky Mountains. May the field of battle be littered with the broken bodies of the defeated, and may the drainage system of Bryant Denny be flooded with the blood of the pumpkin-headed infidels. Roll Tide.